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From Welfare to Work

From Welfare to Work

Judith M. Gueron
Edward Pauly
with Cameran M. Lougy
Copyright Date: 1991
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    From Welfare to Work
    Book Description:

    From Welfare to Workappears at a critical moment, when all fifty states are wrestling with tough budgetary and program choices as they implement the new federal welfare reforms. This book is a definitive analysis of the landmark social research that has directly informed those choices: the rigorous evaluation of programs designed to help welfare recipients become employed and self-sufficient. It discusses forty-five past and current studies, focusing on the series of seminal evaluations conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation over the last fifteen years.

    Which of these welfare-to-work programs have worked? For whom and at what cost? In answering these key questions, the authors clearly delineate the trade-offs facing policymakers as they strive to achieve the multiple goals of alleviating poverty, helping the most disadvantaged, curtailing dependence, and effecting welfare savings. The authors present compelling evidence that the generally low-cost, primarily job search-oriented programs of the late 1980s achieved sustained earnings gains and welfare savings. However, getting people out of poverty and helping those who are most disadvantaged may require some intensive, higher-cost services such as education and training. The authors explore a range of studies now in progress that will address these and other urgent issues. They also point to encouraging results from programs that were operating in San Diego and Baltimore, which suggest the potential value of a mixed strategy: combining job search and other low-cost activities for a broad portion of the caseload with more specialized services for smaller groups.

    Offering both an authoritative synthesis of work already done and recommendations for future innovation,From Welfare to Workwill be the standard resource and required reading for practitioners and students in the social policy, social welfare, and academic communities.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-258-9
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xv)
    Judith M. Gueron and Edward Pauly
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvi-xviii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    In 1988, Congress passed welfare reform legislation – the Family Support Act (FSA) – that affirmed an evolving vision of the responsibilities of parents and government for the well-being of poor adults and their dependent children. The new law left intact the basic entitlement nature of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the nation’s major federally funded cash welfare program, and even expanded it by requiring states to extend coverage to certain two-parent families. But in addition it sought to shift the balance between permanent income maintenance and temporary support toward the latter. Thus, the anchoring principle...

  7. Chapter 1 The Findings in Brief
    (pp. 7-51)

    Across the nation, states are implementing the many provisions of the Family Support Act. As they make the funding and design choices that will determine the size and shape of the JOBS program, policymakers can benefit from studies of earlier programs, for there is an extensive and reliable record of the accomplishments of pre-JOBS efforts to move welfare recipients into employment. The public can also join in debates on JOBS, aided by information from the record of completed welfare-to-work studies. However, translating this evidence into decisions about how JOBS programs should be structured, and what should be expected of them,...

  8. Chapter 2 The Context for Evaluating Welfare-to-Work Programs
    (pp. 52-78)

    In analyzing research relevant to JOBS, it is important to identify what is distinctive about the JOBS approach and to understand the factors and program dimensions that potentially can affect program impacts. To address these two issues, the chapter begins with a brief review of the evolution of welfare-to-work programs, the new features contained in the JOBS legislation, and the context of federalism in which JOBS will be implemented. This is followed by the presentation of a framework or conceptual structure for summarizing how different features of JOBS and the local context can influence the behavior of AFDC recipients and...

  9. Chapter 3 The Studies of Welfare-to-Work Programs
    (pp. 79-125)

    This chapter describes the data base for this synthesis: primarily field experiments used to evaluate welfare-to-work and other programs directly relevant to JOBS. Despite the challenge of mounting such studies of complex social programs, a substantial number have been completed, and more are under way.

    Practical considerations limited the scope of this synthesis. Among the more notable and important bodies of research that were excluded are evaluations of school dropout-recovery programs, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and summer work programs for youth. These studies are not discussed here because they usually do not focus specifically on AFDC recipients and because few...

  10. Chapter 4 The Knowledge Base: Broad-Coverage Programs
    (pp. 126-191)

    Chapter 2 presented a conceptual structure for understanding how JOBS programs can affect behavior and for organizing this synthesis. Chapter 3 identified the relevant completed and current studies, pointed to the outcomes that they address, and summarized the research designs. This chapter and the next discuss what we do and do not know about the effectiveness of different welfare employment program designs and components for different populations¹ and the information likely to emerge from current research. These two chapters basically follow the organization of Chapter 3 and discuss the following topics:

    Broad-Coverage Programs

    Selective-Voluntary Programs

    Subgroups and Targeting

    Education Services...

  11. Chapter 5 The Knowledge Base: Other Evaluations Relevant to JOBS
    (pp. 192-237)

    Chapter 4 presented what is known about the effectiveness of broad-coverage, usually mandatory, welfare-to-work programs. This chapter focuses on particular services for specific welfare populations. It extends the discussion in two ways. In the first two sections, it focuses on what is known and being learned about the success of certain service components that can be provided as part of a broad-coverage system. It does not repeat the discussion of job search and unpaid work experience, which were tested at scale in the broad-coverage studies. Instead, it covers the substantial number of other rigorous evaluations that have focused not on...

  12. Chapter 6 The Critical Open Questions
    (pp. 238-250)

    The preceding chapters examined the extensive studies of state welfare-to-work programs as well as other studies of employment and support services designed to help low-income people join the labor force. This body of work suggests both that much has been learned and that many key questions remain about how to structure more effective programs. The gaps in knowledge can be seen by comparing the key features of JOBS (Chapter 2) with the current and anticipated findings from existing research (Chapters 4 and 5). Viewed together, the complex JOBS legislation and the evaluation results from previous program models point to the...

  13. Appendix A Program Costs
    (pp. 252-260)
  14. Appendix B Supplemental Tables for Chapter 4
    (pp. 261-284)
  15. Appendix C Supplemental Table for Chapter 5
    (pp. 285-288)
  16. References
    (pp. 289-296)
  17. Subject Index
    (pp. 297-314)
  18. Author Index
    (pp. 315-316)